US firms hold $2.1 trillion outside the tax net
The 500 largest American companies hold more than $2.1trn (€1.86trn) in accumulated profits offshore to avoid the US's 35pc corporate tax rate and would pay an estimated $620bn in US taxes if they repatriated the funds, according to a study released on Tuesday.
The study, by two left-leaning non-profit groups, found that nearly three-quarters of the firms on the Fortune 500 list of biggest American companies operate tax efficient subsidiaries in countries like Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
The Center for Tax Justice and the US Public Interest Research Group Education Fund used companies' own financial filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission to reach their conclusions.
Apple was holding $181.1bn offshore, more than any other company, and would owe an estimated $59.2bn in US taxes if it brought the money home.
General Electric has $119bn held offshore, Microsoft $108.3bn and Pfizer is holding $74bn, the study said.
Forcing companies to repatriate funds would; "restore basic fairness to the tax system, reduce the deficit and improve the functioning of markets," the study concluded. (Reuters)